Aerobic exercise is exercise which is sustained in duration to increase the heart rate and oxygen need, thus commonly involving large muscle groups. Aerobic exercise is also commonly referred to as cardiovascular exercise, and is implemented to improve endurance, body weight, body composition, lung and heart efficiency, and overall cardiovascular ability. Working the heart and lungs via aerobic exercise is great for improving fitness and health. Those who are well trained in aerobic exercise will commonly have greater ability in functioning longer and harder, as well as improved recovery.
Aerobic exercise can aid weight loss, with aerobic exercise being calorie taxing, thus increasing energy expenditure for weight loss. The key to weight loss is a greater output of energy in comparison to input (via food). So, following a suitable calorie controlled diet, whilst performing aerobic exercise, will likely lead to weight loss. For those looking to become fitter and increase their aerobic ability, whilst maintaining or adding body weight, will need to ensure the correct levels of nutrients are consumed to offset any calories lost via aerobic exercise. Correct fuelling of cardiovascular training sessions is vital, whatever the goal, with food intake post training to ensure recovery. Optimal hydration levels should also be maintained by taking on fluids throughout the day, and also when performing aerobic exercise.
The intensity, frequency and duration of aerobic exercise are important factors when deciding on how often to train, to what intensity, and for how long. There are a few formulas for working out heart rate ranges for aerobic exercise, although most people do not have heart rate monitors, and the formulas are just guides after all. Working at a rate in which it is difficult to say an entire sentence is likely optimal, with the ability to say a couple of words, then having to take catch your breath to complete the rest of the sentence. Any more than this level will result in a much greater intensity of workout, therefore it is important to reduce the duration accordingly.
Aerobic exercise is possible at the home, outdoors, or at the gym. The gym offers a wide range of fitness equipment, and facilities, to perform aerobic exercise. Treadmills, cross trainers, exercise bikes, exercise classes, rowing machines, the swimming pool, and the squash courts, all offer a great aerobic exercise workout. Walking long distances, hiking, cycling, and jogging are outside activities which can increase the heart rate and improve cardiovascular ability, whilst enjoying the outdoors. In door activities could include; step ups on the bottom step (unless you live in a bungalow!), vigorous tidying up (squatting down a lot), as well as using home equipment, such as steppers.
Three to five times per week, for around sixty minutes in duration at moderate intensity, is the recommended amount of aerobic exercise for optimal results. Some may choose to increase intensity and reduce duration of workouts, or vice versa, depending on the individual goals. It is vital to ensure dietary consumption and fluid intake is optimal for someone who carries out aerobic exercise training.